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  • P.O. Box 121 Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia
  • 1300722878

The end of an era

Stevan Premutico, has spent the last decade revolutionising the restaurant industry. At the forefront of innovation and technology, Stevan created Dimmi to help restaurants run more efficiently. Ten years on and it’s hard to imagine what the industry would look like without Dimmi. How many businesses would not be online? How many would not have implemented technology into their day-to-day systems? How many customers would still have to call or walk-in to a restaurant instead of booking instantly from their mobile device?

As Stevan steps down from Dimmi and hands the reins over to Jared Chapman (currently General Manager), R&CA ask’s Stevan about the past, present and future outlooks of Dimmi and the digital landscape of the industry.

When did you set up the business?

The idea for Dimmi came about 10 years ago. I was inspired by the inefficiencies associated with the restaurant industry at the time. While airlines and hotels had embraced online bookings, restaurants were still stuck in the dark ages. Every time I made a restaurant booking I had to make a phone call or leave a message or send an email – I just hope that someone would return my call/email. I saw Dimmi as the platform to help, not just diners, but restaurants too. It took several years to find people who believed in this idea as much we did – it was a hard slog in the early days, but we made it!

Why did you start Dimmi?

I started Dimmi to help restaurants run a better business, and to help Aussies enjoy more moments around the dinner table together. It was never about making money, it was truly about changing peoples lives for the better.  I believe we have achieved that. Today, 50% of all restaurants in Australia are using Dimmi for their bookings, with 42% of their reservations being made online. It’s an enormous behavioural shift.

Do you feel you have achieved everything you wanted too?

Honestly, I have done what I came here to do – to make the industry better. I am so proud of what the guys have achieved and where Dimmi is at… so I can now comfortably hand over my baby and move on.

Main achievements?

  • The biggest one is that consumers now use Dimmi as the “go to” place when deciding where to eat. In the early days we would be lucky to get a few visitors a day, today we get over 1 million visitors a month.
  • In the early days we partnered with lots & lots of restaurants but not so many of the top tier restaurants in Australia. As our product has improved and as our consumer brand grew rapidly this changed and many of the countries marquee restaurants jumped on-board including the likes of Bondi Icebergs, Flower Drum, Urban Purveyor Group, Merivale. We had to adapt as a business & significantly bolster our Key Accounts team & the investment in our products to support these types of accounts.
  • Perhaps what I am most proud about though, is that even though we have changed a lot, grown a lot… we have never lost the bit that made us great in the first place – a relentless desire to help restaurants run a better business.

What would you have done differently?

Part of being a start-up is that you never stop learning. Every day presents a new set of challenges. I don’t know if I would really do anything differently – maybe I should have taken a few more holidays along the way!

What does the future look like for Dimmi?

I truly believe that technology can be the game changer for this great industry. In Australia we have some of the best chefs in the world, some of the best restaurants in the world, but we have some big challenges too; the highest labour rates in the world, crazy high rent costs, visas restrictions, the list goes on and on. I think the industry needs answers and it needs solutions… and I think Dimmi can be a big part of that solution for both Aussie restaurants and diners.

Other Dimmi contributions to date: 

  • Death of the old school pen and paper diary.
  • Death of the telephone  – 42% of reservations are now made online.
  • The modern way, 50% of restaurants now accept online bookings.
  • Technology now enables powerful revenue maximisation features such as no-show elimination, yield management, and double sittings.
  • 65% of all user searches are now from mobile devices.
  • Prevalence of user reviews in restaurant discovery.
  • New distribution channels like Qantas, TripAdvisor & American Express.
  • Advanced guest recognition delivering superior customer experiences through integrations with Point of Sale systems.
  • Big data – restaurants know more about their customers than ever before!